As sweater weather approaches and the leaves transition into vibrant hues, Albany County weekends become jam-packed with events. Say hello to autumn with outdoor music festivals, charming harvest fairs, and various celebrations of local culture & heritage. Discover Albany's upcoming Fall festivals that will have you welcoming the cooler temperatures with open arms!
For Music Mavens
September 8 kicks off a month of outdoor concerts in Albany with the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival. The all-day concert showcases local jazz favorites and critically acclaimed up-and-coming artists. Located at Jennings Landing, the event features breathtaking views of the Hudson River and a dazzling fireworks display to top off the day of jazz.
Pearl Street shuts down on September 15 for the Downtown Albany BID's annual Pearlpalooza. This free outdoor music festival will have you jamming to live music from two main stages, playing in a cornhole tournament, finding your zen at Yogapalooza, and eating delicious bites. The fun occurs on North Pearl Street between Pine Street & Sheridan Avenue.
An estimated 50,000 people will descend upon Lark Street on September 22 for the Lark Street BIDS's annual LarkFEST. The huge one-day street festival features two stages of live music with local and national headlining musical acts. Hundreds of vendors including local artisans, food trucks and drink stands line Lark Street with fun for the whole family!
For Pumpkin Spice Fiends
On September 15 & 16, fall into fun with the Capital Region Apple & Wine Festival at the Altamont Fairgrounds! Adults will love kicking off the harvest season at this festive event with a huge wine tasting, car show, cooking demonstrations and local NY food vendors. Kids will smile all day with face painting, pony rides, pumpkin painting, haunted houses and more! It is two days of Fall fun for the whole family!
Step back in time to a Harvest Fair circa the 17th and 18th centuries at Crailo State Historic Site on September 15! Celebrate the bounty of the season with historical demonstrations featuring Dutch colonial life, food harvest activities, music, crafts, Dutch hearth cooking demonstrations and more. This family-friendly event is a fantastic way to learn about Albany's colonial history and get in the spirit of Autumn!
2018 is the inaugural year for this Fall-themed festival at the Empire State Plaza. The Hops & Harvest Festival on September 19 will celebrate the best of what autumn offers in Upstate New York featuring music, craft beer, local food vendors and blue grass music. The Infamous Stringdusters will headline this weekday evening of Fall fun!
Break out your lederhosen and head down to Albany's Warehouse District on September 29 for the 10th Annual Oktoberfest Block Party. Broadway shuts down from Ferry to Thatcher Streets (in front of Wolff's Biergarten) for a day of beer, dachshund "Wiener Dog" races, keg bowling, delicious food and all things German! Kick off the day with an Oktoberfest 5K at 10:15 am and stick around for the Mayoral Keg Tap, followed by the Wiener Dog races and day of festive fun. Prost!
Apple cider donut fans you won't want to miss the 30th Annual Apple Fest & Craft Show at Goold Orchards on October 13 and 14. The charming family-friendly festival will check many items off of your Fall bucket list including apple & pumpkin picking, eating festive baked goods, enjoying live folk music, and exploring a huge tent full of crafters and farm producers.
Photo Credit: Michael Seinberg
For Culture Enthusiasts
Grab your bagpipes! Annually held on Labor Day Weekend, the Capital District Scottish Games are one of the oldest and largest cultural festivals in New York State. The two-day event at the Altamont Fairgrounds showcases Highland Dancing, a Scottish Breed Dog Show, Pipe Bands, Highland Athletics and kid-friendly events such as a petting zoo, Highland cattle, pony rides and sack races!
Explore the beautiful grounds of the Shaker Heritage Society including the blooming Herb Garden during a Craft Fair on September 8 and 9. Get a head start on your holiday shopping and peruse handmade pieces from local and regional artists! The Craft Fair also features live music, games, and activities for kids.
Bookworms will love this new festival hosted by the NYS Writers Institute! The two-day event on September 28 & 29 will include panel discussions, literary vendors and over 100 local authors! Wander through an exhibit area featuring bookstores, publishers, literary organizations and other book-related merchandise. Sit in on one of the many panel discussions with acclaimed authors from a range of genres spanning from mystery, to history, to food writing. The Albany Book Festival will also include writing workshops, YA events and kid-focused events!